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    #1

    Find oneself in, at, on...

    Dear friends:

    Here is the setence:

    Democrats find themselves in a brighter political spotlight since winning Congress in the midterm elections. How are things shaping up for the next big contest -- the 2008 presidential race? In two new polls, Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents picked their favorites, with Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama topping the lists. Give us your take on the emerging Democratic lineup.

    Here is the question:

    In Longman Dictionary, “find oneself in or at or on…” means one is in a situation one did not expect, usually a bad one. So I am curious about the word “brighter”. Brighter can be good, for you become famous in a brighter spotlight; but it can also be bad, as you are under closer scrutiny. To me, “Find oneself in or at or on…” is usually seen as negative because it implies you got there through no plan of your own, but that is certainly not the case with the Democrats after this election. So what do you think? Brighter in terms of more attention paid to you that you like, because you like the fame, or more attention paid to you that you don’t like, as people don’t like to be scrutinized.

    Ian2

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #2

    Re: Find oneself in, at, on...

    It means, to discover where one is politically.

    dictionary.com offers this definition:

    8. to become aware of, or discover (oneself), as being in a condition or location: After a long illness, he found himself well again. She woke to find herself at home.

    The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms offers this one:

    Discover where one is; also, how one is feeling. For example, He suddenly found himself on the right street, or To my surprise I find myself agreeing with you. [Mid-1400s]

    Hope that helps.

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    #3

    Re: Find oneself in, at, on...

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    It means, to discover where one is politically.

    dictionary.com offers this definition:

    8. to become aware of, or discover (oneself), as being in a condition or location: After a long illness, he found himself well again. She woke to find herself at home.

    The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms offers this one:

    Discover where one is; also, how one is feeling. For example, He suddenly found himself on the right street, or To my surprise I find myself agreeing with you. [Mid-1400s]

    Hope that helps.
    Thanks for your answer. But my question seems a little more subtle. I was trying to find out whether the Longman Dictionary's definition is not flexible enough to include the two situations you mentioned in your message. Apparently when you found yourself well again, it is not something you don't want to see. But the Longman Dictionary's definition is "to realize you are in a particular situation, especially a bad one, that you did not expect" (Direct quotation). In other words, is it true that the usage of this structure has been expanded to include situations that are not negative, or that are expected by people.
    Sorry for this hair splitting. But it is interesting to explore. Thanks again.


    • Join Date: May 2006
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    #4

    Re: Find oneself in, at, on...

    Hi, Ian2,
    I think Casiopea has provided all the info you need - it embraces positive contexts, too. As to Longman, the word especially means mostly and implies other usage as well.

    Regards

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    #5

    Re: Find oneself in, at, on...

    I think the Longman dictionary covers the situation because they don't say that it is always negative.

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #6

    Re: Find oneself in, at, on...

    Quote Originally Posted by ian2 View Post
    But the Longman Dictionary's definition is "to realize you are in a particular situation, especially a bad one, that you did not expect" (Direct quotation).
    I see. There is a problem. You're right. But it's not with "find oneself" per se. It's the adverb especially. It's ambiguous: its synonymous with paticularly, which has two meanings, to a greater degree (i.e., more often in a bad situation) and specifically (i.e., in bad situations only]. Longman is using the former meaning, not the latter,

    "...to realize you are in a particular situation, [more often] a bad one [than a good one], that you did not expect."

    Consider these examples. "find oneself" is used in positive situations:

    Ex: I woke up to find myself a millionaire! I won the lottery overnight.
    Ex: After the motivational speaker ended her presentation, I found myself stopping and writing down some of my goals.
    Ex: I found myself giggling aloud at some of the [movie] passages, and even tried to teach the ...
    Ex: I found myself looking forward to each day, and every day had some new interest.
    Ex: ...found myself making a salary larger than I ever imagined.

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by Casiopea; 20-Jan-2007 at 11:35.

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    #7

    Re: Find oneself in, at, on...

    Thank you all. I think we have reached the bottom of it. A great acheivement.

    Ian2

  3. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #8

    Re: Find oneself in, at, on...

    You're welcome.

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